Calling all safe-spacers. In case that microscopic ideological bubble you’ve created for yourself on social media isn’t air-tight enough, you can now avail yourself of Twitter’s newest conversation setting: the reply-limiting feature. This allows you to control who can reply to your tweets so that you won’t have to deal with any microaggressive pushback against your very important opinions. Pretty soon our conversations will be limited to chatbots in Australia.
Twitter’s director of product management, Suzanne Xie, broke down the mentality behind the new feature in a blog post.
“Sometimes,” she writes, “people are more comfortable talking about what’s happening when they can choose who can reply. We’ve seen people use these settings to have conversations that weren’t really possible before. Starting today [that’s 11 August], everyone will be able to use these settings so unwanted replies don’t get in the way of meaningful conversations.”
Isn’t that what private discussions are for (and also the “mute” and “block” functions)? There are numerous ways to achieve a “space” in which “unwanted replies” are excluded. For example, going out for a few dozen beers with your acquaintances. That’s a pretty safe space.
“Here’s how it works,” Xie continues. “Before you Tweet, choose who can reply with three options: 1) everyone (standard Twitter, and the default setting), 2) only people you follow, or 3) only people you mention. Tweets with the latter two settings will be labeled and the reply icon will be grayed out for people who can’t reply. People who can’t reply will still be able to view, Retweet, Retweet with Comment, share, and like these Tweets.”
Twitter has been testing this enhanced insulation feature since May. The main thing they discovered is that—you guessed it—it makes people “feel safer” and “more protected.” Other people’s views are so dangerous … Twitter to the rescue!